Friday, August 10, 2007

Delta Dental Awards $49k for Chicago Oral Health Projects

LISLE, Ill. — Delta Dental of Illinois announced it has awarded $49,000 to six agencies in the greater Chicago area in an effort to help promote oral health education and access for Illinois residents.

The grants are part of Delta Dental of Illinois' public benefit program. Part of Delta Dental of Illinois’ mission includes improving the oral health of the communities it serves. As such, Delta Dental of Illinois supports organizations and projects that help improve oral health access or promote oral health education in the state. The grants awarded include:

Girls in the Game. $15,000 awarded to this organization that offers year-round, female-focused programming that combines physical activity and nutrition with health education to create a holistic, healthy lifestyle. The group will introduce a pilot oral health education program by creating an educational workshop for Chicago's underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods.

Easter Seals of Metropolitan Chicago. $10,000 awarded to the organization, which has a dental program that is one of only a few in the state that specializes in oral health services for patients with developmental disabilities. The majority of people served are low-income adults between ages 19 and 54. It serves approximately 3,000 patients each year.

Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Clinic. $10,000 awarded to this clinic that aims to remove barriers to proper dental care for low-income individuals and families. As an organization that never refuses treatment for inability to pay, the five-chair clinic will provide 5,000 restorative and preventative visits to 1,800 patients over the next year.

Erie Family Health Center. $5,000 awarded to this organization, which aims to increase access to comprehensive health services for children, pregnant women and diabetic adults. The center expects to serve more than 2,200 unique patients in the next 12 months.

Mercer County Health Department. $5,000 awarded for the department's Toothmobile mobile dental clinic, which is a school-linked health center that helps to reduce the barriers to proper dental care for low-income families. The Toothmobile serves approximately 1,000 people.

University of Illinois Medical Center. $4,000 awarded for the university's Dental Awareness waiting room information program, which is a patient education program designed to educate parents, children and caregivers on the benefits of proper dental care.

"Part of Delta Dental of Illinois' mission is to continually seek ways for residents of Illinois to have access to quality oral health care and education," said Robert Dennison, D.M.D., President and CEO of Delta Dental of Illinois. "Through our grant program we are able to assist a number of community-focused organizations in their missions to provide beneficial health programs for the entire state. We are honored to be part of this joint, positive endeavor."

Delta Dental of Illinois is a not-for-profit dental service corporation specializing in providing comprehensive, easy-to-use and cost-effective benefits to over one million employees and family members in more than 3,200 employee groups throughout Illinois. Based in Lisle, Ill., it offers an array of nationwide network-based managed fee-for-service, PPO and dental HMO plans.

These awards will benefit six diverse agencies that serve thousands of residents of the greater Chicago area and help meet an underserved need — oral health care and education.

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